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Becoming Plastic 2022

Becoming Plastic

Jacaranda Kori

Curator: Ayelet Zohar, PhD

The exhibition Becoming Plastic: From Nature to Waste, is an installation of 27 ceramic objects suspended from the ceiling, between heaven and earth, ceiling and floor, giving a sense of floating or the possibility of looking at the hovering objects from an underwater viewpoint, enabling a disengagement from the existential and mundane, for the sake of focusing on the understanding of human existence.  The installation engages with the dystopic processes that the planet is experiencing in the Anthropocene. From a world of hope and desire for progress, to the realisation over the past few years of the great tragedy of Earth: the fossil fuel emissions, air pollution and the plastic industry – are the biggest and toughest polluters of the natural environment, which will eventually destroy the delicate balance on our planet. 

The concept “Becoming Plastic” is inspired by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s writings, placing particular emphasis on the term becoming in their philosophy, a concept that indicates the extent that Deleuze and Guattari believed in process and continuous change:  no being is fixed, no position is stable.  All things are in a constant flux of transformation, and these shifts are what they termed becoming: the changes each time lead to a new state of existence.  For them, altering is the essence of human and natural existence, emphasising the perpetual motion of diversifying, repetition, and the creation of differences – an integral part of the principles of existence. 

Plastic, in many ways, is the antithesis of ceramic: where ceramic is a material and technique that attracts many people in the past few years, expressing a desire to return to the old world of human proportion, natural and nostalgic, as opposed to the world that operates at an inhuman pace, which is too fast. With a longing for working with one’s hands and the use of natural materials, working and creating simple vessels and containers (mostly), Kori inverses the process, and appropriates the ceramic in a cruel way, to become plastic.  She does not spare us and is not part of the “back to nature” type of festivities.  Kori uses the clay and makes it become what we will all become: plastic.  This is a dystopic attitude, which manifests the process of loss in which we live, and the potential destruction encompassed in each move we make.  Becoming Plastic works against the popular image and assumption of the qualities and purpose of ceramic.  Turning ceramic into plastic using various plastic accessories to create casts or physical parts – is the guideline for Kori’s actions.  The transition from the warmth of ceramic to the chill of plastic, from the grey earthiness of the clay to the luminous colours of the coated plastic, could have become a celebration of colour, however, within the context of Kori’s endeavor, it becomes a toxic experience, of poisons spilling into the environment. The combination of cast clay, perishable techniques, peeling shiny colours, plastic containers as the mold and parts remaining – are at the heart of Kori’s oeuvre. 

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